Nursing refers to the act of protecting, promoting, and optimizing health status and abilities in order to prevent any form of illness that may affect human beings. This profession helps in provision of care for the sick and alleviate suffering through diagnosis and carrying out treatment for the sick individuals, families, groups, communities, and the entire population. According to the Royal College of Nursing, the term nursing has been defined as, the use of clinical judgment in provision of care to enable people improve, maintain, or recover health, to cope with health problems, and to achieve healthy life, regardless of their disease or disability, until death. Therefore, this paper seek to explore various societal factors that affect the entire nursing curriculum in any given institution.
There are a number of societal factors that affect the field of nursing in various ways. These factors ranges from socio-demographics, cultural diversity, economic, and political factors. There are an increase in the number of families who are jobless, uninsured, homeless, and survive in abject poverty. During the first decades of the 21st century, the economic crisis lead to a massive decline in the provision of financial resources to cater for health care and other ordinary expenses forcing many people to eat unhealthy diets, go without medicines and treatment, and find care in any emergency. The state of this economic crisis also denied adequate funds to healthy schools programs such as nursing education, hospital staffing, and material support for the sick, poor, and jobless people in societies. The existence of domestic abuse of women and children among other forms of abuse are also increasing at different homes, schools, and public places. There has been an increase in violence within the nursing schools and also in hospitals, which involves vertical abuse among nurses.
The effect of substance abuse is a major serious problem in various societies that affects nurses and nursing students. Substance abuse is associated with consequences for the safety and general health of nurses, patients, and others which leads to an increase in stress and anxiety that triggers violence, mental, and economic problems in society. Most societies are experiencing problems related to obesity, which imposes adverse consequences on peoples’ health and the health care system. This condition leads to various prevalent health problems that strain health care facilities and financial resources. Therefore, it is paramount for health care providers to teach prevention of obesity and its consequences in schools. The shortage and aging of nurses and nurse educators being experienced is a trend that has led to serious issues for students, teachers, and health care consumers. During the recent recession period, nurses who were older than 50 years reentered the hospital workforce. Therefore, as the older hospital workforce retires, there will be a hospital for nurses, hence challenging administration to use its available and experienced workforce in order to mentor and mold younger nurses. The current shortage of nurses is likely to follow with a decrease in available workforce and hospitals, thus policymakers need to fully address this coming trends.
Another major issue affecting nursing education is the escalating number and consequences as a result of serious medical errors. These errors have led to an increasing number of deaths being recorded, which further increase the cost of health care and tarnishing peoples beliefs about the of available health care.
Another serious trend affecting nursing education is related to the existence of different cultural practices, diversified ethnic populations, and patients with unique ways of reacting to illness, methods of treatment, and the available care providers. This is relevant to freedom of choice and end-of life issues. Students are assigned to various community clinical settings, some of which may have small staff members, making it difficult for them to find qualified preceptors. Staff nurses who act as clinical instructors or preceptors may or may not be prepared for these roles or receive adequate orientation. Students, therefore, need to learn to take into account individual responsibility and initiatives that will help them gain essential core competencies.
Many nurses have at times be subjected to working in situations emanating from disasters, abuse, and violence in various families, communities, and in military conflicts. Domestic violence, especially those against women and children, have increased as it has been in workplace and schools. This has led to an increased emphasis in nursing education, and in state regulations of reporting and responding to violent incidents. Criminal acts and substance abuse have become more common in hospitals and other health care agencies not forgetting nursing schools. This has greatly contributed to threatening the safety of patients and staff.
The limited availability of government funding also poses a great challenge to a successful nursing educational curriculum. Prioritization of nursing education training through federal support makes increasing funds for medical education to be difficult. Furthermore, current research findings priorities fails to support investigations about nursing education issues. They also don’t consider any research about the implementation of appropriate innovative practice models.
In conclusion, if the vision of high quality health provision is to be accomplished, then all the discussed societal factors that hinder effective training for nurses must be overcome.
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